Examine the location, landforms, and climates found in Russia.
Compare Russia's economy under communism with Russia's economy today.
Describe cultural influences in Russia.

     Chapter Overview

Chapter 14: Russia

Stretching across two continents, Europe and Asia, Russia is the world's largest country. The Ural Mountains separate two large plains in the western half of Russia. In the east the land rises to a large plateau and mountains. Although Russia has many resources, its economy continues to struggle. Moscow is the country's economic, political, and cultural center. As Russia's government has changed, its manufacturing has shifted from heavy to light industry.

Modern Russians descend from early groups of Slavs who settled along the rivers of what are today Ukraine and Russia. Following a period of conquest by the Mongols, a series of Russian rulers began to expand their control over the land we now know as Russia. These emperors, called czars, ruled Russia from 1480 to 1917. In 1917 Vladimir Lenin led the Russian Revolution and set up a communist-style state, which later became known as the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Russia again became an independent country. The change to a democracy and free enterprise economy has been a challenge for Russians.

     Quick Notes

The Land

Russia is the largest country in the world in area.
Russia extends across both Europe and Asia.
Russia is a vast lowland divided or surrounded by mountains.
Inland waterways help connect Russia's widespread regions.
Much of Russia's climate is subarctic or humid continental.

The Economy

Russia's economy is moving from government control to a free enterprise system.
Russia's leading industrial centers are located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Volga, and the Urals, and Siberia.
Oil and gas are important resources in Russia.
Siberia, the Asian part of Russia, has vast timber resources.

The People

Russia was the center of a powerful empire under rulers known as czars.
A revolution in 1917 overthrew the czars; later a communist empire called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Soviet Union, was established.
Russia and other parts of the Soviet Union have become independent republics since the fall of communism in the early 1990s.
Most Russians live in urban areas in the European part of Russia.
Russia has a rich tradition of art, music, literature, and dance.

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